Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Explains Geoffrey's Black Armband

The Scandinavian people in my experience are some of the most polite, thoughtful and considerate fellow-travelers here on Spaceship Earth. Practically Canadian. And yet, as if to help prove that on any given Sunday any team can be—WHAT? Oh, that’s an NFL thing. Sorry. See? That apology is very Scandinavian, too, but over the weekend, this happened, and try as I might I can’t really suggest what I would/could/should have done.

When Sigrid and I lived in Germany we never passed up an opportunity to go to a zoo, and had the good fortune to have a world-class one in Frankfurt not that we didn’t ‘cheat’ and see other animals in other places when we weekended.

As you’ve read in the article, the scientific director of the Copenhagen Zoo received death threats over this chain of events which suggests a degree of passion I thought the Danes reserved only for Danish Dynamite, their national football club. Some things can NOT be unseen; that was one of them.

I concede that reading an account of this in the Grey Lady, The New York Times, may not be the ideal venue or medium because of the resolute striving to NOT take sides that is a hallmark of the paper (though I may ruin your enjoyment of pictures, accounts and descriptions when I tell you that many people don’t fully realize its editorials are usually on the front page). Despite that snarkiness I must also add it’s more Fair and Balanced asleep than Faux Gnus is when wide-awake (in my opinion).

Marius was born and died in captivity, confined for our amusement and entertainment I suppose. Perhaps this is not true for you, but strip away all the veneer of scientific inquiry; when I go to the zoo it’s not to observe the animals. I like looking at them and they make me smile, and laugh.

Actually, in terms of the latter, there’s a Mona monkey somewhere in NYC, I’m thinking the Central Park Zoo, who broke my powers of observation a really long time ago. And it (never figured out he or she) would have broken something else had it been able to reach me.

The article doesn’t make clear to me how Marius was selected (I’m thinking no rocks, paper or scissors were harmed in the making of the lions’ lunch) not that such information would change my disquiet about all of this.

I’m the kind of person who watches the National Geographic Channel and Animal Planet, right up until the moment the shark’s jaws snap shut on the seal, or the tiger catches the wildebeest or the crocodile plays Captain Hook with a zebra. At that very moment, I can’t click away fast enough or far enough.

Maybe I should carry the remote with me everywhere.
-bill kenny

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